“Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character.” —John Wooden
In our business, leadership is the result of innovation and execution coming together. One of the premier analyst firms in the IT world, GigaOm, evaluates this leadership in its Radar research. GigaOm Radar reports look at the equation “across two axes—balancing Maturity versus Innovation and Feature Play versus Platform Play—while providing [direction] that projects each solution’s evolution over the coming 12 to 18 months.”
And we agree with the finding in the 2022 GigaOm Radar for Cloud File Systems. When you look at innovation married with stability and consider the features that are combined into a powerful collection of capabilities, NetApp is the clear leader.
It isn’t a new crown for us, though. In last year’s analysis, we also took the leadership role. But this year, we significantly extended our lead over the competition. We even provided some fuel for our key alliances, such as Amazon, Azure, and Google Cloud, to power their positions and to move them significantly toward the coveted “bull’s-eye” spot. More on that subject in a minute.
If you have been in the industry for a while, you will likely guess one of the main reasons that we own the leader title: We build our cloud storage capabilities on NetApp® ONTAP®, the world’s leading data management software.
This ONTAP foundation delivers the kind of efficiencies from compression, compaction, deduplication, thin provisioning, and data tiering that you need so that you can afford storage-heavy, data-hungry workloads. It also means no more sleepless nights, because you have block-level, incremental-forever NetApp Snapshot™ and backup capability built in. And with features like NetApp FlexClone® and FlexGroup you can do creative things with your data that you simply can’t do with, well, just storage. Even better, you can have this capability everywhere it matters to you—on premises or in the cloud of your choice. As GigaOm notes in the report, “NetApp’s cloud file system portfolio shines with a complete enterprise-grade feature set, flexible deployment models, and ubiquitous service availability across public clouds.”
But having the world’s leading storage in the cloud (ahem, every cloud) is just part of the equation. Being able to manage your data, to protect it, and to truly exploit it—that’s where the real money is. Especially when you have a unified, AI/ML-driven control plane that lets you discover, deploy, and manage your storage and derive insights into what data you have, where it is, and how it’s being used.
And that unified capability is what we now deliver with the NetApp BlueXP™ control plane, which is likely the second main reason that GigaOm noted our extended lead over the pack. GigaOm reports, “NetApp BlueXP offers next-level management and orchestration capabilities complemented by a host of SaaS-based data services, which significantly enhances the business value of NetApp’s cloud file system offerings and sets the bar high for the industry to follow.”
While we’re celebrating success, we would like to give kudos to our hyperscaler partners who have also made significant progress in moving toward the bull’s-eye. As noted in the recent Radar report, the introduction last year of Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP helped AWS make a strong move forward this year. And by using the capabilities of Azure NetApp Files in its portfolio, Azure also made significant progress. Google Cloud received positive notes about the capabilities of NetApp Cloud Volumes Service for Google Cloud as that hyperscaler also achieved good forward motion.
I can’t close without acknowledging the challenge that NetApp faces, as the report noted: “... NetApp’s offering and ecosystem are very rich and comprehensive. Without proper guidance, some organizations might feel intimidated.” It kind of reminds me of my friend in college who was wildly attractive, wicked smart, and filthy rich... which intimidated some suitors.
Don’t worry, though. We have a lot going for us, but we’re also fun to hang out with and we want you to join the party. So come and check out NetApp BlueXP.
Ronen Schwartz is senior vice president and general manager of NetApp Cloud Volumes business. He is responsible for accelerating the Cloud Volumes business, building the robust Cloud Volumes platform across hybrid clouds and multiclouds, and expanding NetApp cloud data management services.
Before joining NetApp, Schwartz was executive vice president in charge of technology and ecosystem, operations, and strategy at Informatica, and senior vice president and general manager of Informatica Cloud. In those roles he led product strategy, product management, and go-to-market strategy. During his 14 years at Informatica, he helped lead the company through its own transformation from on premises to the public cloud, from license revenue to recurring revenue.